2 Chronicles 35-36:23
In chapter 35, Josiah commanded the celebration of Passover. During Passover sacrifices were made as a reminder to mankind that we need redemption of sin and that redemption requires a blood sacrifice. We cannot be holy on our own; we are in need of a savior. Passover was a prophetic symbol of the Lamb of God, Jesus, who would become the final sacrifice for all sin, that which has already been committed and that which was to come.
After this, Josiah made a grave mistake. He went out to meet Neco, the king of Egypt, who was marching to battle. Neco told Josiah that he wasn’t there to do Josiah harm, but was on a mission commanded by God. Josiah didn’t listen and essentially picked a fight with Neco. He didn’t inquire of the Lord as to whether he should take up arms against the king of Egypt, but set his mind to war. This fight cost him his life.
What can we learn from this? First, don’t fight someone else’s battle unless God calls you to do so. It is never wise to pick a fight with someone or to meddle in the conflicts of others in a willy-nilly manner. Before we enter into any kind of conflict, we should inquire of God and be certain that he is sending us on the mission.
Secondly, we should be open to God moving in unexpected ways. Perhaps Josiah disregarded Neco’s claim that God sent him on this mission because Neco was the king of a pagan nation. However, God had spoken to pagan kings before. In Genesis 20:1-3, God came to Abimelech, the king of Gerar, in a dream. Even when we see ungodly men in action, we may think that nothing they do is of God, but we shouldn’t dismiss the possibility that God is using them for his purposes.
It is interesting to note that God fulfilled his word to the letter. In Leviticus 26:14-45, God warned his people about the consequences of disobedience and in 2 Chronicles chapter 36, we see his words fulfilled. What words does God give us today? Take note and heed his warnings! There is a heaven to gain and a hell to avoid. God leaves the choice up to us.
1 Corinthians 1:1-17
Paul wrote this letter to the church in Corinth, but he could’ve been writing to any number of churches in modern-day America. He appealed to them to live in unity. There were squabbles among them about which preacher to follow. Paul reminded them that it’s all about following Christ.
How many of our churches today get into senseless squabbles? I’ve heard of churches splitting over the color of the carpet or what kind of pews to have or the style of music. God calls us to be in unity. We may have differing opinions. One may desire blue carpet and another prefer green. One may want more hymns while another wants more choruses. None of these are reasons worthy of division among Christians. Sometimes we may need to sacrifice our personal desires for the good of the whole. As long as we’re not compromising the truth of God’s word, then stubbornly hanging on to our desire for pews instead of chairs is really not worth dividing the body of Christ. It makes a laughing-stock of God’s family.